State of California Archives: on War & Peace

Antonio Villaraigosa: End wars & spend in US in stead of Baghdad and Kandahar

The US Conference of Mayors passed a resolution urging President Obama and Congress to get their act together and "speed up the ending of these wars." The conflicts are costing the United States $126 billion a year, the resolution said, and the money would be better spent on repairing America's broken economy and infrastructure and on reducing the federal debt.

"It's time to bring our investments back home," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles said as he assumed the presidency of the mayors conference at its annual gathering, held in Baltimore. "We can't be building roads and bridges in Baghdad and Kandahar, and not in Baltimore and Kansas City."

The resolution could hardly be considered flamingly radical, not with its call to end the wars "as soon as strategically possible" and to withdraw American forces "in a measured way that does not destabilize the region." That's a far cry from, "Out--now!"

Indeed, "it reflects in large part what the president believes," Villaraigosa said.

Source: New York Times on 2014 California governor's race Jun 21, 2011

Bill Jones: Would have voted for the $87 billion spending on Iraq

Jones would have voted for the $87 billion spent to help rebuild Iraq, because “the fact is we are committed and we cannot leave the job half finished.” Spending the money will create a democratic Iraq that will remove a threat to Middle East peace and Israel.
Source: 2004 Senate campaign website “Issues” May 2, 2004

Colin Powell: US need not choose between Israel & Arabs

Powell has been as popular with the Jewish community as he has with the general public. He wowed many Jews in 1991 when he addressed the AIPAC Policy Conference, starting off in Yiddish [which he learned as a boy growing up in New York City]. In that speech, he noted that the Gulf War destroyed the myth that the United States must choose between Israel and the Arabs. He lauded Israel’s “heroic restraint” after withstanding the Scud missile attacks. He also said the friendship between our nations is “symbolized by the strategic cooperation between both countries. Cooperation that will grow.”

He also talked about going to Israel and feeling so comfortable he could speak to his Israeli counterparts in “short-hand, the kind that develops among close and dear friends.” He traced this relationship to the basis of the alliance’s “democratic cooperation...a cooperation based on rules of law and democracy.”

Source: Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, Op-Ed, Mitchell Bard Nov 3, 1995

Colin Powell: US has always stood with Israel; and will continue to do so

Powell concluded a 1991 speech to the AIPAC Policy Conference with the kind of passionate statement every friend of Israel hopes for from public officials: “We have stood with Israel throughout its history. We have demonstrated again and again that our roots are intertwined, as they are with all nations who share our beliefs in openness and democracy. So let there be no question that America will stand by Israel today. And, let there be no question that America will stand by Israel in the future. Peace in the Middle East, a peace we all yearn for, can only be secured if the U.S.-Israeli relationship remains strong and vibrant.“

Those were his most extensive public remarks on the Middle East. As Joint Chiefs chairman, Powell had a role in the growth of strategic cooperation between the United States and Israel, but he was not a catalyst.

Source: Jewish Bulletin of Northern California, Op-Ed, Mitchell Bard Nov 3, 1995

Darrel Issa: Oppose irresponsible Iran nuke deal

[On President Obama multilateral nuclear treaty]: "I voted against the President's deal with Iran because it will provide the world's foremost state-sponsor of terrorism with over $100 billion almost immediately, access to conventional arms in five years, ballistic missile technology in eight years, and an unfettered path to the bomb in ten to fifteen years."

"I applaud President Trump's bold leadership putting Iran, and its regional proxies, on notice and demanding that they permanently abandon any ambition to develop nuclear weapons. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated under the previous administration was an irresponsible agreement that put our people at risk, left our most important allies in the Middle East in jeopardy, and did not achieve a single stated foreign policy objective of the United States."

Source: 2020 California PVS Political Courage Test Nov 3, 2020

Jared Huffman: Timetable for Afghan withdrawal should be immediately!

Q: Do you support United States' combat operations in Afghanistan?

A: No.

Q: Do you support a timetable for withdrawal from Afghanistan?

A: Yes. That "timetable" should be immediately! I believe the only legitimate mission in Afghanistan ended long ago and there is nothing to be gained - but much to lose - by delaying the withdrawal of our troops.

Source: California Congressional 2012 Political Courage Test Oct 30, 2012

Jerry Brown: World assured of America's resolve in combating terrorism

Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. issued the following statement tonight following confirmation that Osama bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces:

"Tonight, Americans can be grateful that President Obama brought bin Laden to justice. Our friends as well as our adversaries throughout the world can be assured of America's resolve in combating terrorism and protecting the values of democracy and freedom."

Source: Press release from California governor's office May 1, 2011

Mark Meuser: Foreign policy weakness allowed Russian invasion of Ukraine

President Biden March 26 speech in Poland: "Ukraine and its people are on the frontlines fighting to save their nation. And their brave resistance is part of a larger fight for an essential democratic principles that unite all free people: the rule of law; free and fair elections; the freedom to speak, to write, and to assemble; the freedom to worship as one chooses; freedom of the press.

[Meuser's reply]: Dear Brandon,

Just writing you a quick note. Words have meaning. When you express concern that arming a "Resistance" in Ukraine could have consequences, you are using the wrong term. The government of Ukraine and its military is not a "Resistance." They are defending themselves from an invasion. By referring to a "Resistance," you signal your belief that the Russians have already won.

Your foreign policy weakness encouraged Russia to attack Ukraine. Your use of the wrong terms will only encourage them more.


Someone Who Doesn't Like Unnecessary Wars

Source: 2022 California Senate campaign website Mar 26, 2022

Mimi Walters: Thwart Iran's support of terrorism, and nuclear enrichment

Iranian extremism continues across the globe, including its support for terrorism and its continued propping up of the Assad regime in Syria. These actions pose a serious threat to American interests in the Middle East. The US should play a leading role in thwarting Iran's continued support of terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah.

As Iran continues to negotiate a final agreement with the P5+1 over their nuclear program, we must be vigilant in ensuring that Iran does not use these talks as a tool to stall for time as progress continues with their enrichment process. Only when economic sanctions are both broadened and enforced, coupled with a credible military option, will an environment exist where negotiations can succeed. I support new sanctions that would go into effect if an acceptable final agreement is not reached, or if the Iranians violate the interim agreement. America must do everything possible to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability.

Source: 2014 California House campaign website, Oct 10, 2014

Ted Lieu: Diplomacy with Iran ok, but it must never be based on trust

Ted Lieu will continue his record of standing up to Iran and holding them accountable.

Although Israel faces many threats today--from Hamas to Hezbollah to chaos in Syria and Egypt--the single gravest threat to both Israel's and America's security is an Iran with a nuclear weapon. Congress must remain in the process of detailing what a final solution would be, and strong sanctions need to continue should talks fail. A nuclear capable Iran must never happen.

While Sen. Lieu supports diplomacy, it must never be based on "trust." We cannot trust the current Iranian regime, which is controlled by an oppressive, theocratic, authoritarian government that continues to fund terrorists. All diplomacy with Iran on the nuclear issue must be based on verifiable, achievable objectives.

Source: 2014 California House campaign website, Oct 10, 2014

Tom Del Beccaro: Nuke deal solidifies Iran conventional military gains

Most of the attention related to the deal with Iran has focused on the nuclear restrictions. That focus, however, ignores an important aspect of the deal for Iran. The Obama-Iran deal allows Iran to solidify its conventional military gains in the Middle East--a victory for which they are willing to delay their nuclear ambitions.

A decade ago, while the borders of the Middle East were relatively secure, Iran's ambition to be the dominant power in the Middle East was perhaps best served by obtaining a nuclear weapon. Today, Iran has troops in Iraq, its long-time foe. It has sent troops and aid to support rebels in Yemen allied with Iran.

That's why the deal is great for Iran--and a bad deal for everyone else. An ascendant Iran on the ground in the Middle East threatens all of its neighbors in ways well beyond the threat of a nuclear weapon. Each country will now have to enter a conventional arms race in addition to considering acquiring nuclear weapons.

Source: Washington Times column for 2016 California Senate race Aug 4, 2015

Tom Del Beccaro: Mideast was more stable with U.S. troops in Iraq

A decade ago, the Middle East was far more stable than it is today. The United States had a major presence in the region. As a result, the borders of the countries of the Middle East were quite stable.

Today, there is quite a different story. Iraq is a war zone with fungible borders. The same can be said of Yemen and Syria. All three countries may still appear on the map, but full control within their historic borders does not belong to their governments. Of course, we cannot forget that the Islamic State, or ISIS, has militarily created its own state within the region at the expense of some of those other states--and the ISIS state borders also are ill-defined and changing.

Source: Washington Times column for 2016 California Senate race Aug 4, 2015

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